MONTCLAIR, NJ - It started with a 102.4 fever, aches all-over, coughs, congestion... misery for two weeks (and counting!). Sometimes I cough so hard it feels like my chest is going to crack. Other times, the coughs come in waves that make me see flashes of light in between short, desperate breaths.
It is the right and healthy thing to do to stay home and avoid contact with others. Thankfully I work for an organization, AARP, that cares about its employees and provides the opportunity to earn paid sick leave. Otherwise, I might have had to go to work sick as a dog, coughing, wheezing and sneezing.
But many simply cannot take that time off because their employer puts short-term profits ahead of long-term investment in their employees and the company. To avoid some short-expense they put the health and safety of all of their employees and customers at risk. This is bad for business.
This is why New Jersey must follow the lead of Newark and Jersey City's elected representatives and now the residents of East Orange, Passaic, Paterson, Irvington, Trenton and Montclair in adopting policies requiring companies provide reasonable earned, paid sick days for their employees.
This morning, I coughed up green goo, home alone where I should be.
AARP New Jersey Govt. Affairs Manager
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